Thursday, November 06, 2008

Arena Stage's NEW DEAL

As the anemic economy lingers, I have gotten more and more questions, from press, board members and colleagues, about what I believe the impact will be of the worsening economic crisis. As I wrote in an earlier post, the honest answer is -- I don't know. Truth be told, the first several shows of Arena's season have performed on par with previous seasons, and Wishful Drinking was one of our best performing productions in the past decade.

That being said, I am not so optimistic about the future. Money is getting tight, and some of the most talented forecasters in the retail industry are calling for an incredibly rough holiday season.

As a preemptive strike, Arena Stage announced its New Deal program today. At its core is a huge one day only sale. For one day, Friday, November 14 from 12:00am until 11:59pm, Arena Stage will place 25,000 tickets on sale for $25 each, which represents 60% off regular ticket prices. I believe we owe it to our community to make ticket prices more reasonable during these times, and this is the program we have developed.

I also believe that we have to give customers a reason to buy, and buy now. To a lot of people, a great product is no longer enough -- they need a deal that they feel they can't pass up in order to purchase. In turn, I need them to purchase their tickets now far in advance for shows months away. I refer to this as my security blanket in case the economy gets worse--almost like a subscription in a way.

Round 1 begins...

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